I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the health journey I’m on. About how far I have come in less than a year. And how much easier it has been than I thought it would be. As a teenager I was a skinny little thing. People used to try to fatten me up and just give up! Then in my mid twenties I started to gain weight. I didn’t notice at first. Then when I did notice, I didn’t find the will to do anything about it. I feel like I wasted two decades, the best two decades in my opinion, being overweight, when apparently I didn’t need to be. Because when I found the willpower to actually change my health it came easily. Okay, I shouldn’t exactly say easily. After all, I’ve put a lot of sweat and effort into my transformation. No tears, though! But as I gained the weight I always thought it would be too hard. I made a few half-hearted attempts to lose the weight. I’d go on a diet. It always ended in failure. I just couldn’t find the motivation to see it through.
Then in December 2014, while sitting in the doctor’s office, I faced a tough choice. My A1C was 7.2. The doctor wanted to put me on a second medication. I’d already been taking Metformin since 2008. When Christine and I researched this second drug and found it’s strongly linked with causing liver damage I knew I had to make a change. I vowed to never take this drug. Up to this point I’d only wanted to lose weight. Now my want had become a need. And it turned out to be pretty simple. Not easy. Not with all the running miles I put in. But it was simple. I started walking, walking led to running. And I counted calories. I’m so glad I joined MyFitnessPal. It’s a great app that lets you track your calories. It even lets you track your exercise. It definitely made my efforts easier to log. Losing weight comes down to one simple equation. Calories out have to be greater than calories in. In other words to lose weight you have to be eating less calories than you’re burning. Exercise is a great way of boosting your calories out. Running especially burns a lot of calories.
I guess the bottom line in all this is need will always trump want. Wanting to lose weight through reasons of simple vanity wasn’t enough to motivate me to succeed. What ever you attempt to do in life will always be much more successful if you NEED it more than you WANT it. Need is a great motivator. And when it’s a health need, that’s the greatest motivator of all. From being on the verge of taking two drugs for diabetes, I’ve been off ALL medication for ten months now. I stopped taking Metformin in April 2015 when I realized my fasting sugar was actually getting too low.
If that visit to the doctor hadn’t taken place, if he hadn’t decided to put me on a drug that could potentially harm my health even more, I might still be overweight. And I might still be on Metformin. Now I’m fitter than I was even in my twenties. Now I’ve dropped from size 40 pants to size 32. My weight is more or less where I want it to be.
I still have a need. My diabetes is under control. But I’m still diabetic. I don’t think that will ever change. We went out to eat Saturday night. I ate more than I have been recently. I also had fries. My sugar two hours later was 168. Which isn’t bad. A year ago it would probably have been 200 or higher. My fasting sugar was 91. Which a year ago I would have been thrilled with. But it’s a sign of how far I’ve come that I wasn’t happy with that number. These days my fasting is always in the 70’s and low to mid 80’s. Now, 91 is still just about at the normal range. But I wasn’t happy. So yesterday I made conscious efforts to eat less, to eat healthier. My fasting this morning was 75. Much better. But it served as a reminder that I have to be vigilant. That I still have to be conscious of not over eating and I still have to be active. It’s easy to imagine that if I spent a week eating like that my sugar would be into the 100’s. It’s all good, though. It just reminds me I still have a need. And as long as that need is there I will have all the motivation to keep on this healthy lifestyle.
Whatever you want to do in life, whatever you want to achieve, make sure your need is as great as your want and you can achieve miracles. Just like I have.